Friday, 6 August 2010

Oh No, Not More Bioshock 2!

Quoth the head honcho of development studio 2K Games:

"Minerva's Den is a substantial addition that will give players more of what they're looking for: more story, more narrative, more gameplay and more of Rapture. The core team has created an exciting product that further enhances the mystery and allure of the world of Rapture. Minerva's Den will be a fitting conclusion to the BioShock 2 saga."

I beg to differ.

No one, as far as I know, has had their eyes on Minerva's Den as yet - I certainly haven't. At best, it'll be an entirely new zone for indefatigable Rapture enthusiasts to plumb, with new enemies, art assets and, as Christoph Hartmann (president of 2K) teases, added story and narrative. Wait, added story and narrative? My my, Christoph... you really are spoiling us!

At worst, Minerva's Den will be a cheap repurposing of all the already-repurposed elements that helped to make Bioshock 2 such a tremendous disappointment. It will be a greedy money-grab as if Bioshock 2 wasn't a greedy enough money-grab. It will not falter at the thought that it could further diminish the significance of the original game, just as the shameless replication that was Bioshock 2 did not.

In all likelihood we'll be looking at something in between the best and the worst case scenarios when Minerva's Den is released. But I'm going to say this now, and you can all hold me to it when the time comes: not a chance. Not by the hair on my chinny-chin chin will I be going anywhere near Minerva's Den.

I held the original Bioshock close to my heart for a long time, and though I did not see the narrative need for a sequel, I understood that its surprise commercial success would dictate just such a thing. With Ken Levine's tacit blessing and so much of the original development team on board, I was not immediately down on Bioshock 2. News of its multiplayer component helped me along the road to that conclusion, but mostly, I came to it on my own terms... after playing it. And having done so - while its failings were no reflection on the original game - I found my admiration for the original Bioshock wanting, because Bioshock 2 really was just a carbon copy, and if Bioshock could be so easily cloned, could it truly have been all that?

I will not, in short, be buying or otherwise playing Minerva's Den - nor the inevitable Bioshock 3. I am done with this world, I think, once so fantastic, so awe-inspiring; a single sequel has robbed me of my respect for a game I once believed to be among the best of the best. And so. No.

Who's with me?

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